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NPCI appoints former Kotak and HDFC Bank execs to C-suite positions

NPCI appoints former Kotak and HDFC Bank execs to C-suite positions
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The National Payments Corporation India (NPCI) has appointed Praveena Rai, former head of cash management at Kotak Mahindra Bank, as its chief operating officer. The entity has also hired Arif Khan, former chief information officer at Tiger Global-backed RazorPay, as its chief digital officer.

As COO, Rai will head marketing, business development, product management and operations strategy and will also be responsible for product adoption and partnerships at NPCI. The IIM-Ahmedabad alumnus has previously led payments for Asia-Pacific and headed sales at HSBC.

In his role as CDO, Khan will be responsible for NPCI's new products portfolio, serving consumer and industry requirements. He will also head innovation, analytics and technology. Prior to his RazorPay stint, Khan was responsible for driving strategic initiatives in payments, digital banking and financial inclusion at HDFC Bank.

The NPCI was set up in 2009 by the Reserve Bank of India and the Indian Banks’ Association under the Section 25 of the Companies Act as a not-for-profit. Majority shareholders in NPCI include public sector undertakings.

It provides central infrastructure for retail payments and has developed multiple services including Cheque Truncation System, National Automated Clearing House (NACH), Aadhaar Enabled Payment System (AePS), USSD-based *99#, RuPay card, Immediate Payment Service (IMPS), Unified Payments Interface (UPI), Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM), BHIM Aadhaar, National Electronic Toll Collection (NETC) and Bharat Bill Pay.

In its recently released policy paper to encourage new payment systems, the RBI has expressed concern that majority of the retail payments products were concentrated with NPCI.

According to a recent report by tech news portal Medianama, NPCI representatives were not present at a hearing that sought to bring the body under the Right To Information Act. The report also stated that NPCI's retail payments product BHIM received funding from the union government.

In August last year, NPCI launched an upgraded version of UPI to boost transactions between individuals and merchants.

NPCI is headed by Dilip Asbe, who joined the company in 2009.

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